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Turks are divided over the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a new poll conducted by the US think tank Pew Research Center ahead of the country’s first presidential elections.

The survey, carried out in April and May, found a majority of 51 per cent dissatisfied with the direction of the country with only 44 per cent satisfied and an even split on the question of whether Erdogan’s influence has been good or bad with 48 per cent of Turk’s taking either side. Continue reading »

Barack Obama is hosting the first US-Africa summit in the hope of tapping into the region’s economic resurgence. But is the US too far behind the EU and China? Javier Blas asks Ed Luce, chief US columnist and Katrina Manson, east Africa bureau chief.

We’ve had Brics and Biits, the Mints and the Fragile Five. It’s now Africa’s term to acquire an investment appellation: the Africa 8.

This refers to the handful of Africa’s 56 countries that Ecobank, the Togo-based pan-African bank, believes will represent the main drivers of the continent in the long term. It’s an eclectic mix: alongside familiar African growth stories like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are less celebrated countries Rwanda, Mozambique, Angola and – probably the least understood of them all – the Republic of the Congo. Continue reading »

India is the world’s largest democracy, known for lively debate and an active press. As the country has developed, however, the public has grown skeptical of both the media and politicians.

To promote greater transparency and accountability, Govindraj Ethiraj, a well-known business journalist, set up IndiaSpend, a non-profit that aims to generate data-driven journalism. Continue reading »

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By Nicholas Watson of bne in Vienna

The hits on emerging Europe’s banks continue to come thick and fast as legacy problems from the 2008 crisis continue to dog the sector.

The latest example is Erste Group’s €930m loss in the first half of the year due to problems at its Romanian and Hungarian subsidiaries. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Argentina defaults as talks fail | Economy minister says ‘vulture’ funds reject renewed offer from the government and S&P takes action after interest payment deadline passes Continue reading »

India’s new government is to launch an ambitious “financial inclusion” plan to bringing banking services to the 40 per cent of the nation currently outside the formal financial system.

Arun Jaitley, finance minister (pictured), made the announcement in New Delhi on Thursday, adding to the economic and financial reforms already heralded by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Argentina defaults after last-minute talks fail | Economy minister says ‘vulture’ funds reject renewed offer and S&P takes action after interest payment deadline passes

* Alibaba talks could price Snapchat at $10bn | Pioneer of self-destructing instant messages has held discussions about selling a stake to the Chinese internet group as part of a funding round Continue reading »

They may have left their country for vacation, but a number of Argentine tourists in midtown Manhattan nonetheless found themselves at the centre of the most significant news event facing their country on Wednesday: last-minute negotiations to try to avert a default, Luc Cohen reports.

For the second straight day, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and his delegation met in New York with court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack to try to strike a deal with a group of hedge funds led by NML Capital who refused to accept bond restructuring after Argentina’s last default. Continue reading »

Thursday will be a crucial day for Ukraine. Its parliament will attempt to adopt a package of bills needed to secure the next tranche of an IMF bail-out loan. Equally important will be a separate bill to allow the creation of a joint venture between EU and US companies to operate Ukraine’s gas transportation system.

That would strike a blow at Russia’s South Stream project. But what are its prospects? Continue reading »

The sale this month of the Caracas-based newspaper El Universal to a little known Spanish private equity firm raised concerns that it may turn out to be yet another example of the dwindling space for government critics in the Venezuelan media.

The culling of some of the newspaper’s regular columnists this week has brought those fears back into the spotlight. Continue reading »

It’s all kicking off in Indian ecommerce. Flipkart, an ecommerce website founded by two former Amazon employees, raised $1bn in equity this week. Amazon itself quickly followed, with an announcement on Wednesday that it was investing a further $2bn in the country.

As competition becomes fierce at the top of the market, beyondbrics went to Bangalore to meet senior executives from Myntra, the fashion retailer that Flipkart acquired this year. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Total suspends Russian share purchases | Total froze its programme of buying stock to raise 18% stake in Russia’s Novatek on the day Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine Continue reading »

** FT News **

* EU and US toughen sanctions on Russia | Sweeping measures intended to cripple economy and convince the Kremlin to abandon its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

* Israeli military pushes deeper into Gaza | The IDF is racing to destroy a network of Hamas tunnels more extensive than it previously thought, even as condemnation of the war outside Israel grows Continue reading »

It is not hard to find evidence of Egypt’s extensive informal economy. It is present everywhere from the rickety microbuses that are poor Egyptians’ main means of transport, to the myriad small businesses which repair, build, supply and otherwise serve the needs of this population of some 85m people.

A World Bank report on the Egyptian labour market released on Wednesday, finds that informality in employment has been deepening, meaning that the proportion of Egyptians in poor-quality jobs without written contracts or social security has been rising, even during years of higher economic growth in the past decade. Continue reading »